West with the Night is a memoir of Beryl Markham, horse trainer, bush pilot, and history making aviatrix. Beryl and her father moved to Kenya when she was a girl where she had a zebra for a pet and spent time hunting with a local tribe as though she were one of their own. She followed in her father’s footsteps by becoming the first woman in Africa to receive her horse-training license. She met Tom Black who taught her how to fly, and she began to scout elephant herds for safaris as well as flying mail, passengers, and supplies around the wilds of Africa.
Beryl decided to move to England, flying the the 6,000 mile journey with her friend, Blix, despite suffering dozens of delays all through Africa due to the Italian government’s (1930s) tight control on security in their African territories. Once in England, Beryl accepted a bet from a friend to be the first person to fly non-stop from London to New York, in an east-west direction. A special plane was designed and built for the flight and Beryl took off on September 4, 1936 becoming the first person to fly nonstop from Europe to America and the first woman to fly solo east to west across the Atlantic.